To celebrate Tourism Month, South African Tourism hosted a group of media to tour Mpumalanga, starting with Dullstroom. Dullstroom is a small town, very reserved and has many small shops. It’s very cold but has cool people with warm hearts. It is also cultural as we were welcomed with many artistic activities including a splendid performance by the Ndebele music Queen, Nothembi Mkhwebane. Tshedi Moholo, who was part of my team also went on stage and gave us a free lovely performance. It was such a lovely moment.
Last week Wednesday, I took a short left to Mpumalanga to explore the province with other media representatives. I’ve been to Mpumalanga before, my aunt stays there in Middleburg but what I discovered this time around was much more than what I saw during the family gathering. Arriving in the late afternoon, I checked in at Anglers Court, a small guest house at Dullstroom.
Thobile Mazibuko at Dullstroom.
It has a nice setup, very cosy for a person like me who likes their own space without being bothered. What I loved more about it is the spacious bathroom and the braai area outside, although I didn’t get the time to braai because I had to attend the official launch of the Tourism Month, which is in September. This was in eMakhazeni, very cold town in Mpumalanga but the people there gave us a warm welcome.
After the launch and the dinner, we headed back to our respective apartments because we still had a long day on Thursday. On day 2, we went The Coachman Restaurant for breakfast before heading to Dunkeld Country and Equestrian Estate to engage with Minister of Tourism once more, Thokozile Xasa. From there, me and my group headed to Barberton, where we visited the Barberton Mkhonjwana Geotrail.
Gugu Manqele, Sello Ramosepele and Thobile Mazibuko at Barberton Mkhonjwana Geotrail.
After seeing the views from the top and learning about the rocks, we shot straight to Kruger National Park, using the Numbi Gate.
Giraffes at Kruger National Park.
We had a nice dinner by the fire at Kruger National Park and the following day, we were ready for the tour to see animals.
My team was the most fortunate one because we got to see many animals than any other team, including the Leopard, and it’s only us who saw it.
Day three was the most coolest day of them all. From Kruger National Park, we went to the Lisbon Falls, OMG I’ve never seen such beauty. Whilst overwhelmed by that, we headed to the Panorama route to see the Three Rondavels.
WATCH: The beauty the Lisbon Falls
That was when I was like damn it! My country is beautiful. I mean I know Drankensburg Mountain from the KZN side, but the Mpumalanga side is even much more. There was no time to rest, at some point I felt that my eyes have seen so much beauty, yet there was even more.
Thobile Mazibuko up at the God's Window.
Climbing up to see the God’s Window, I felt like I was being over worked until I got up there to see the forest, couldn’t get to see the Mozambican peak because it was already after midday and the sun was blazing hot.
We know that most South African roads are full of potholes, but it doesn’t end there, South Africa also has The Potholes, probably the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I just couldn’t deal anymore. It’s so amazing how much nature creates itself and be so beautiful.
To seal off day 3, we went to Graskop, a place I can say is a gateway only for the brave. If there’s something I’ve ever done in my whole life that I’m very proud of, is conquering my fears.
Thobile Mazibuko and some of her travel teammates who conquered their fears.
I feel like nothing can stand up against me anymore, I can do anything and succeed at it. At Graskop I started with the slide, which is not scary but just a cool ride. And then, being a big dog that I am, I went for the Big Swing. Whoah! I never thought I could be so adventurous, I was kind of scared at first but got to relax whilst at it because of the view.
What could be more sensational than being in the air, watching a mini waterfall, with a small lake surrounded by the forest, what a view. Going for the Big Swing was the highlight of my trip. I mean I always knew that I am strong and brave, I just had never unleashed it in that way before, but I’m glad I did.
WATCH: Thobile Mazibuko conquers her fears
On day 4, which was the last day, we did river rafting. But before that, we went to the Shangana Cultural Village to learn more about the Tsonga culture. What I gathered there is that when people are married, should the wife die, the husband mourns for six months and can marry any woman thereafter.
Gugu Manqele, Sello Ramosepele and Thobile Mazibuko
But if the husband dies, the wife mourns for a year and cannot marry outside of the family but will have to now become the wife of the husband’s brother.
River rafting was very nice because it tested the level of team work and I must say, we all got it because we all succeeded at it. It’s true when they say “save the best for last”. Before driving back to Gauteng, we were treated at Summerfield Kitchen for a cosy lunch.
That place is just out of this world. The set up, the treatment, the food, everything is just on a 100. What’s even worse is that they have a garden inside, the food we ate was all from it. Now I’m not really a sugar person, I kind of dislike sweet things but I couldn’t say no to the dessert they offered.
Thobile Mazibuko takes a selfie at the Summerfields Kitchen.
All those days spent discovering Mpumalanga made me realise what I’ve been missing out by not travelling more often. I then decided that screw turn ups, I’m part of the travel team now.